Martin O’Neill‘s post-match email from the Riverside describes a game we always seemed likely to win but in which we struggled to assert ourselves. And two classy finishes (three if we’re fair to Lukas Jutkiewicz, assisted as he was by crazy defending) …
The main thing is we’re through to the next round. You could say we made hard work of the game. However, we did play very well.
The team created chance after chance and had a lot of the ball, but nothing seemed to materialise.
In the first half Middlesbrough were a bit sporadic and then when the chance fell for us we took it thanks to a fantastic goal from Jack Colback.
I thought we conceded in the second half when we looked to be at our most comfortable – that gave them renewed heart going into the final 30 minutes of the match.
In extra time there were very few chances created but we popped up and scored a great goal.
At that point we might have just resigned ourselves to penalties with just a few minutes to go.
The important thing at that stage was not to concede and then Stéphane [Sessegnon] popped up to score.
It was a great move, the way the ball fell, and he did well to put it in the back of the net.
There have been some really great goals scored lately – the idea of a tap-in does not exist at this club!
The fans were great – as always – and their support for the club is magnificent.
Overall, I’m delighted we’re the next round of the competition.
All the best,
* See Kartun Malaysia’s Flickr images at this link